The Island of Missing Trees @Elif_Shafak @Viking Books @yayareadslotsofbooks
The trees know. They have through millennia been here. They are witness to our history as violent as it is. They have loved us and yet they see what we have become. They know what we are capable of and through the senses of a special fig tree, we are witnesses to a sad and tragic story.
What causes the most pain on our planet? Could it be death and destruction brought on by the many ways in which war starts?
It is a theme that runs through history, one that pits race against race, color against color, and the human race against what nature has said they are. Add to that religion which has divided us through the ages as if god considers one faith superior to another.
This story deals wonderfully with the consequences of a man and woman falling in love with other even though the mores of the times demand that their love is wrong, indecent, and immoral. However, love does not know country lines, religious bigotry, or boundaries. It transcends all making the above issues irrelevant and mindless.
This story is set in Cyprus where strict lines have been drawn between the Greeks and the Muslims. One traversing over these lines offers them so up to ridicule and ostracism.
Yet, Kostos and Defne do. They have the nerve to fall in love. Set inside the Cyprus civil war, the author takes us through the prejudices, the hated, the murder that occurs when people are trained to hate those who they live with. (Sounds familiar does it not?)
Wonderfully told with an open eye on war against neighbor and its repercussions that do travel through generations, this excellent story can show us how we might recognize from whence we come and make our impact felt on presenting a better future.
The trees point the way to life. They know our story since it blends with theirs. Perhaps their way to coexist with all is the future humankind needs to take as a way of life.
and here’s the author:
Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into fifty languages. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She is a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice a TED Global speaker, each time receiving a standing ovation. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who would make the world better. She has judged numerous literary prizes and is chairing the Wellcome Prize 2019.